Major in Psychology (Neuroscience concentration), Minor in Drama
Exploring the sleep/wake cycle
Sleep has emerged as one of the most popular health and wellness topics in popular culture over the past several years. With insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders increasingly prevalent in our modern society, scientists around the world have turned their attention to this phenomenon that isn’t without consequences on the people it touches.
At Bishop’s University, Neuroscience student Jacob Gerlofs has been working alongside fellow colleagues and mentoring professors. He’ll be taking on new research projects when he travels to the city of Lyon, in France, thanks to the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund.
“I’ll be spending the whole summer at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre,” says Jacob. “I’ll be joining the Integrative Physiology of Brain Arousal Systems Lab Team, which studies the sleep/wake cycle in rat and humans models.”
“I’m lucky that I’ll be able to enjoy some flexibility in this internship,” he says. “This way I’ll get a chance to see what else is going on in the field.”
Jacob’s interest lies in behavioural neurobiology and neuropsychopharmacology, though he is interested in exploring other disciplines within neuroscience. His time in Lyon will give him the opportunity to do just that.
“The lab team will examine sleep disorders using many different physiological approaches,” explains the Burlington, Ontario, native. “They connect their research findings to the existing body of knowledge and then apply them in clinical settings. It’s important research because it provides people with therapies for their sleep disorders.”
As a second year student, Jacob credits B.E.S.T. with giving him an experiential learning opportunity he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to have so early in his academic career.
“I learned about research methods and concepts in class, but they’re easier to understand when you actually conduct research, read the literature and see how it’s studied and investigated,” says Jacob. “I’m fortunate to be given an opportunity that allows me to get a glimpse of what graduate students do on a daily basis. It’s what I hope to do when I graduate from Bishop’s. ”